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What happens to my outstanding CPF contributions if my employer is made a bankrupt, or is under liquidation or winding up?

In the event that an employer is made a bankrupt, or is under liquidation or winding up, an Official Assignee or Official Receiver/Liquidator respectively, will be appointed by the High Court, company’s shareholders or creditors (depending on the company’s situation). The Board will file the claims for owed CPF contributions for affected employees with the Official Assignee or Official Receiver/Liquidator, as the case may be.

If the employer is made a bankrupt, the Official Assignee will investigate into the conduct and affairs of the bankrupt and also recover and realise his assets for distribution to the bankrupt’s creditors. For a company that is under liquidation or winding up, the Official Receiver/Liquidator will investigate into the affairs and assets of the company, the conduct of its officers (including the company directors) and the claims of creditors and third parties. Any proceeds realised by the Official Assignee or Official Receiver/Liquidator will be paid in the following order in accordance with the law: costs and expenses incurred by the Official Assignee or Official Receiver/Liquidator, costs of applicant for the bankruptcy or winding up order, salary (including allowance or reimbursement), retrenchment benefits or ex gratia payments under employment contracts, amounts due in respect of workmen’s compensation under the Work Injury Compensation Act, before it can be paid to employee’s CPF. The bankruptcy, liquidation or winding up process will take time, and could take years to complete for complex cases. If you wish to know more about the bankruptcy, liquidation or winding up process, you can visit Ministry of Law – Insolvency Office website

It is the employers’ obligation to pay the CPF contributions for their employees. However if your employer is made a bankrupt, or is under liquidation or winding up, the owed CPF contributions may not be recovered despite the Board’s actions. To find out the status of the bankruptcy administration, liquidation or winding up, you can contact the Official Assignee or Official Receiver/Liquidator directly.

We would like to take this opportunity to advise employees that if your employer is in financial difficulties, while CPF Board will continue to take enforcement actions, employees should be mentally prepared that the CPF owed may not be recoverable. In such situation, to avoid adding to the amounts owed, employees may wish to assess their situation carefully and consider approaching Workforce Singapore for job switch assistance.